Business Suite, SAP's comprehensive enterprise transaction application, has been made generally available on the HANA in-memory database, a move that brings truly real time business very close to reality.
Business processes like marketing analysis, material resource planning and sentiment analysis, and the most often used operational reporting and analytics tools, will all run much faster on HANA than on any other SAP system to date.
Behind the Scenes Disruption
Because SAP has increased the speed at which businesses can conduct transactions and build reports at the database level, there is less disruption when those customers switch over to HANA. In other words, there doesn't have to be any big changes to how business is done, it is simply sped up with the HANA in-memory system.
Obviously, when businesses can make faster, more reliable, data driven decisions, the hope is they will be able to leverage a competitive advantage. So far, Oracle is really the biggest competitor to HANA at this level, so bleeding edge companies who want access to this kind of speed will have to spend massively to get it.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison does not have many good things to say about SAP these days, and just for a bit of symmetry, SAP co founder Hasso Plattner made sure to stoke Ellison's ire.
"I'm glad Larry's not smiling," Plattner said at the press conference announcing Business Suite's availability on HANA.
I know they have a weekly meeting with the word HANA in it. If you saw the freight train that is HANA coming what would you do? I know they'll react in some way and we expect them to do something in response."
SAP co founder Hasso Plattner and Executive Board member Vishal Sikka answer analyst questions at the Business Suite for HANA press conference.
Plattner is now on the SAP Supervisory Board, and he kicked off the announcement by noting how much has changed since he left the CEO position of the company he helped found. He's been busy teaching enterprise software systems at Potsdam University in Germany, and it was with some of his PhD students he first began theorizing the HANA system.
Companies need to see the business world through their customers' eyes, Plattner said, and that is why transactional data needs to be accessible in real time. HANA can run reports that used to take an hour in just seven seconds, one demonstration at the launch showed.
Live Insight Drives Real-Time Action
Customers can upgrade starting today, and there are 70 SAP partner companies who have deployed certified consultants to help them do it, Vishal Sikka, SAP Executive Board member said.
A rapid-deployment version, to be released in the first quarter, should help customers go live in less than six months. Furthermore, it will offer packaged, preconfigured software, implementation services and content for a fixed price and scope.
"We can rethink everything by doing things in real time," Sikka said at the press conference.
"That is the way we can transform the future of business."